by Shannon Griffiths
VANCOUVER – Featuring 10 Canadian artists of completely different styles, visions, and backgrounds, Vancouver’s third annual Façade Festival is a stunning showcase of rich diversity. Presented by the Burrard Arts Foundation, it brings unconventional stories and contemporary visions to the public, to break through the metaphoric façades of art and society.
“The Façade Festival really ties into our mission statement here at the Burrard Arts Foundation, which is to create more opportunities for the public to experience art,” explains BAF Gallery Coordinator, Genevieve Michaels. The BAF is constantly looking for new ways to promote art in Vancouver. From gallery spaces and shows to outdoor murals and sculptures, the gallery exhibits contemporary art in open and accessible environments of all kinds. “The nature of the Façade Festival,” Michaels continues, “is that it creates a large monumental project to be seen by thousands of people, [yet] is very temporary and is always changing. We [at BAF] think that art should be outside the walls of the gallery in the city for lots of people to enjoy.”
The featured artists will use projection mapping digital technology to transfer their artwork, created to fit cohesively with the physical architecture of the building, onto the Georgia Street-facing façade of the Vancouver Art Gallery.
One featured artist, Diyan Achjadi, will be displaying an animated piece of shifting islands and clouds, to signify the ever-changing world as it faces climate change. Inspired by her Indonesian heritage and the relationship between beings and land, Achjadi’s work will comment on environmentalism and colonialism.
Former professional dancer, Evann Siebens, will be showing a thought-provoking and emotionally moving story of two magpies — two improvisational dancers, clad in orange jumpsuits — to symbolically represent thieves. Filmed on unceded Coast Salish territory, Siebens’ piece is about history, place, and identity, and questions what these mean.
Another artist, Shawn Hunt, will feature his traditional form-line art of the Heiltsuk, to bridge the gap between the generations of First Nations peoples, between artists and storytellers, and between the cultures of the world. When placed in a specific sequence, his artwork creates a narrative of an inter-dimensional spirit world, allowing room for interpretation.
Façade Festival runs from September 4 – 10 at the Vancouver Art Gallery.VAG, Vancouver Art Gallery